October 20th, 2021
Almost four years ago, when I started writing about things that people generally don’t talk about on the internet, it was scary.
I remember laying in a hospital bed and weighing the pros and cons of sharing these pieces of myself.
There was a large part of me that felt like I had already alienated the people I knew. I’ve done my unfair share of posting things that make me cringe in retrospect, as do a lot of us who became of age as the internet itself did. It was the wild west and some of us rarely won.
In a way, the idea that most of the people in my life probably didn’t care what I had to say made me feel a little freer, the process of doing it less important.
But I did it because I felt like it was important. I wanted to write about the things that I wanted to read about, about the things that I wasn’t just thinking, but feeling.
I wanted to give away my secrets.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So I sought out other art that inspired me to do the same. A song called “Secrets,” by Mary Lambert, would play in my head on repeat when I was feeling nervous about revealing anything about myself. In it she sings:
“They tell us from the time we’re youngTo hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
To hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
I’m over it
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are”
It’s a sentiment easy to sing along to, but difficult to do. We are taught that secrets hold power. Adults tell us this, governments tell us this, history tells us this.
But they’re all wrong.
They tell us to keep things to ourselves because sharing ourselves and connecting to each other gives us power. When we tell each other how our lives really are, it often contradicts what the people who hoard secrets say.
So what does that say?
If you worry that telling too much will destroy your mystery and make you boring, let me assure you that every human is born with at least 10,000 good secrets, at least as many lakes in the state.
And your true self will always be more interesting than the person we never knew.
[ A link to Mary Lambert’s “Secrets”: https://youtu.be/cqqqV50zaAc ]